can pigs eat dog food

Due to the fact pigs are great eaters, some pig owners are tempted to serve their pig dog food, knowing that they will eat it, but is it safe?

You might be wondering, can pigs eat dog food? Well, we’re here to answer that very question! We know these adorable snorters will practically eat anything, but should they be chowing down on your pup’s kibble?

Strap in; we’ll delve deep into the do’s and don’ts of piggy diets. So, if your pig is acting like a dog, read on to learn more!

Can pigs eat dog food?

Yes, pigs can eat dog food, but it is not safe. Due to the high protein composition of such a diet, it may harm the pigs, including potbellied pigs. Pigs should be served dog food only in emergencies where there is no other food to feed the pigs when hungry.

Dog food is formulated specifically to meet the dietary needs of dogs, but not pigs. Consuming regularly could lead to obesity or other health issues in pigs. Pigs require a balanced diet with grains, fruits, vegetables, and occasional protein. Ideally, they should have a pig-specific diet with all the necessary nutrients.

Let’s get deeper into evaluating whether pigs can safely consume dog food.

Various types of dog food

Can Dog Food Kill Pigs?

Dog food is designed for dogs; it is safe for animals, especially mammals. The fact that the food is safe does not make it fit to be consumed by pigs.

Also, because it is called dog food, it means the nutrients are designed to suit the nutritional level of the dog. And the dog, apart from being a mammal from the pigs, has a different functional system, hence their nutritional needs.

However, you can serve them dog food in an emergency to relieve your pigs’ hunger.

Can pigs eat dog treats?

Pigs have a renowned reputation for consuming virtually anything that crosses their paths. However, it is imperative to tread with caution when it comes to dog treats. Like any other living being, pigs have unique digestive systems and dietary requirements vastly different from those of dogs.

Hence, dog treats are specifically formulated to cater to the nutritional needs and digestive capabilities of canines, and not pigs. While some pigs might find these treats appealing due to their omnivorous nature, regularly supplying them with dog treats can potentially lead to health complications.

These complications could range from mild digestive issues to severe nutritional imbalances. Considering the distinct dietary needs and the potential health risks linked with dog treats, offering pigs food items specifically designed for their consumption is always recommended. 

Can Pet Pigs Eat Dog Food?

The same principle applies to your pet pigs. A one-time feeding of your pet pig with dog food may not be harmful, but doing so continuously may cause serious health issues for the pigs.

The rule of thumb states that it gives dog food to a dog and never allows your pet pigs to take it in large amounts. It would help if you served your pet pigs general food rather than food designed for a specific animal.

Is Dog Food Safe For Potbelly Pigs?

Although different from hogs, Potbelly pigs still do not make dog food fit for them. Avoid giving potbelly pigs dog food; it should be done only in emergencies.

Potbelly pigs have different digestive systems and dietary needs compared to dogs. Therefore, dog food’s nutrients, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates may not be appropriate for the pig’s nutritional requirements.

Ideally, you should feed them pig pellets, fresh vegetables, and a small portion of fruits because they need a higher fiber diet. Dog food often contains more fillers and additives, which could harm pigs. Also, it can cause obesity in pigs.

If pig food is unavailable in an emergency, you could feed them dog food. But this should only be a temporary solution and should not become a regular part of the pig’s diet. Always remember, giving a proper and balanced diet is important to keep your potbelly pig healthy and prevent potential health problems.

What Happens if a Pig Eats Dog Food?

A few portions of dog food will not necessarily cause any harm, but turning it into a regular diet for the pigs can lead to severe deficiencies and health issues, like vomiting, stomach pains, and restlessness.

You are only permitted to give pig dogs food when there is no other food, and the pigs are starving. After that, you should immediately discontinue it and feed them with the right food afterward.

pigs eating solid food

What foods are poisonous to pigs?

Even though pigs are not picky in diet, you cannot serve them anything you come across. For no reason should you serve your pigs with the following:

  • Moldy or rotten food: Feeding pigs moldy and rotting food will endanger their health, leading to death in extreme cases.
  • Fresh meat and eggs: Although meat and eggs are highly proteinous, feeding your pigs with raw meat and eggs constantly can lead to foot and mouth disease. Ensure the meat and eggs are cooked first before serving them to them.
  • High salt and sugar content food: Avoid foods that contain too much salt or sugar. For example, fruits are rich in sugar. Although beneficial to pigs, it can still be harmful when served in large quantities.

Alternative to Dog Treats for Pigs

Rather than giving the pig dog food, you can try out the following diets.  

  • Cooked Leftovers: Pigs aren’t selective in terms of feeding. You can efficiently serve them leftovers of cooked meats, chicken, or grains. Apart from being cost-effective, they are healthy for the pigs.
  • Forage: Pigs love to forage, both dry and fresh. You can allow them to roam about and feed on the grasses or feed them with fresh vegetables. They can eat any time of vegetable you can find in the market. Also, you can add fruits like bananas or grapes to the diet.
  • Pig Pellets: Like dog food, pig pellets are fed specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of the pigs, depending on their age and species.

These types of feed contain the needed nutrients; the only limitation is that they can be expensive. And not all pig owners can afford to feed their pigs with pig pellets.


You should note that dog food and pig pellets are different foods designed for two different animals and shouldn’t be exchanged for each other.

Never serve dog food to the pigs; it should be done only during emergencies.

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